Saturday, January 28, 2012
Men’s Meeting #3 Ishy Squishy
“Ishy-Squishy” True love has nothing to do with it!
There are many ways by which our hearts can be led astray. The diligent man or woman will acknowledge their propensity toward deviance and rely upon the revelation of God to aid and equip them for a life of godliness. God reveals Himself to us by means of words. In the use of words we gain a knowledge from which we are grounded to venture into His world and live before His face. One of the most helpful revelations God has given to us in His word, is the revelation of His unity. The unity of God reveals His uniqueness over against all created beings or things. While the universe reveals much about its creator, only special revelation is sufficient enough for us, who bear His image to rely upon. And in relying upon such truths as the unity of God we are, as was stated above, given a place from which to begin our own process of becoming united. This happens in all realms of societal connectedness. That is, through the breakdown of our own multi-complexities we are freed from the entangling web of sinful and destructive behaviors. Through unity, marriages can experience peace and blessing. Through unity the Church can function orderly and obediently to her Lord. There are numerous practical implications to unity in the life of a believer. But it must never be forgotten that unity is rooted and defined with God at the center of one’s life. When Jesus reveals to us the fact that God is one and that we are to love God and our neighbor, he is leading us into a unified life guided by a unified heart. No “split heart” can glorify God. In fact a split heart is evidence of a double-minded man, who is unstable in all his ways. We must be ever vigilant in the fight for practical living to never lose sight of the necessity of a unified heart toward God and our neighbor. To love our neighbor is to be unified with God’s way, this translates into: our death for the life of our brother or sister. Humility is another way of putting it. From this, it is also possible to notice that one reason God reveals over and over again that He is one, is for the simple fact that human hearts tend to be idolatrous. When God lays down the first commandment He tells us: I am not going to compete.
From this fact flows the second commandment, built upon God’s unity which functions as a wall so-to-speak to protect us against idolatry. The use of images is wrong and ought to be avoided for two reasons: God never revealed any likeness (Deut.4:15) and we are called to worship God is Spirit and in truth. From this fact also follows the truth that we are not to worship God in any one location but can take our worship of Him anywhere. The bronze serpent is a picture of idolatry which we are all prone to. In the end the serpent was destroyed because it was used wrongly. In discussion concerning God, one must always be careful not to “define” him. For in defining Him we are prone to miss something and end up with a lie. It is conceivable to build a conceptual understanding of His being from one doctrine to another. That is to say, his omnipresence leads to his justice and his justice leads to his mercy and so forth. God’s attributes are ways in which we can look at him from differing angles, somewhat like a diamond, but we must not run to the error of putting him into a box! To use a logical argument built on only four attributes about God for instance is not right, for there are many more attributes which ought to be remembered. The doctrine of Spirit is taught throughout the Scriptures and is referred to each of the members of the Trinity. Noah worshipped God in Spirit and in truth. Just as all the men and women mentioned in Hebrews 11. God’s people have always worshipped Him in Spirit and truth. Though the revelation of Christ helps not only the Samaritan woman but also those who read her story.
Psalm 139:7 leads to the doctrine that not only is God Spirit, but he is also omnipresent. It may be that the greatest sin of the church is the neglect of the reality of the omnipresence of God. The practical outworking of God’s omnipresence ought to cause us to trust God more. To build on this doctrine we are blessed with peace, comfort, and hope. The promise of Romans, that God will work all things out for the good of those who love him, makes no sense without the doctrine of His omnipresence. Under his powerful hand nothing escapes his notice. The history of the church is an important subject. We see throughout her pages that she has tottered back and forth on the pendulum of transcendency and immanence. God’s faithfulness to his bride shines forth brightly as the red chord of His covenant love is the road she follows though ever wavering back and forth being kept on the track only by His grace. She has not been lost and she has been sanctified. This is true in our own personal lives as well. God was gracious with us ten years ago, and he is gracious with us today. His grace is given to help us be thankful to those who were forbearing with us in our weaknesses then. God’s love is not some westernized romanticism, but giving. The best way to conceptualize the meaning of love or what it does is John 3:16: For God so LOVED the world that He GAVE…